Architects + Interior Designers, Etc

‘Smart Technology is a Must for Any New Construction or Renovation Project’ – Interior Designer Kristen Rivoli

Dennis Clemente
February 22, 2023

A Floridian property designed for protection from sun and spills. Photo credit: Kristen Rivoli

It's not often that you hear an interior designer talk about work other than their own. Most of the time, they like to pitch their business. But Kristen Rivoli is already an established interior designer who doesn’t mind propping up an industry that is becoming part of interior design as well – residential technology or smart home technology.

“One overlooked element of design might be smart home technology (which has) definitely gotten better since it was first introduced; it’s a must for any new construction or renovation project,” Rivoli tells Modern Luxury Interiors.

Study desk with rattan chair. Photo credit: Kristen Rivoli
Smart technology proponent

It’s a ringing endorsement of smart home technology — and we’re not surprised she said that because all interior designers work with smart technology; the only reason it doesn’t get mentioned as much alongside interior design is because it’s not their field of expertise. 

However, a CEPro event last Fall indicated the growing connection of smart technology and interior design, which should prepare Rivoli well if she collaborates with a smart technology integrator like Premium Digital Control & Automation.

On average, U.S. households now have a total of 22 connected devices.  There are just too many smart home devices and possible integrations and they all need to be seamlessly integrated and designed into people's lives.

Interior designers will need to figure out how to design around them -- how they can be made to look seemingly invisible and work in the background, if chosen to do so. For best results, smart technology integrators need to come in early in a construction or renovation project so both of them can work together to simplify their client’s lives.

Also, smart home technology is propagated in every room of a residence or place of business which means that interior designers will have to make room for it in their projects.

Fortunately, Premium Digital Control knows how to work with architects, interior designers and general contractors – like how they have done so with an interior designer at Ritz Carlton penthouse and a Turnberry Ocean Club residence, both in Sunny Isles.

Smart technology is better deployed in an entire space, which fits right in with Rivoli’s “livable” design aesthetic. Having motorized window treatments and a centralized audio-video distribution system in an entire property adds more comfort and efficiency.

Photo credit: Kristen Rivoli

Rivoli likes to make sure all rooms in a residence are used, which means that having some automation is clearly needed but for her, livability has to evoke a feeling of casual elegance on top of making every part of a home functional. 

At home with both small- and large-scale projects

She’s equally at home with both small- and large-scale projects. 

Rivoli has always been open-minded about possible partnerships which can probably be attributed to her experience working in large-scale construction projects in New York and South Florida. A recent 13,000-square-foot residential project is one example.

She clearly knows not one person can do everything. This means you have to know how to collaborate with the best partners – and be open to working in job sites, as she has been known to enjoy doing so she can interact more with architects and builders. 

Old and the new from her travels

Rivoli is able to repurpose the old with the new in her many diverse projects. In her capable hands, it’s not farfetched to see how the iconic 70-year-old Saarinen Executive chair from Knoll can be both a desk and dining chair. 

She can add leather to it and make it easy to clean if used in front of a breakfast table. She can put natural fabrics like wool, boucle or a patterned textile if placed at a dining table. Rivoli puts any fabric on it, whether dressed up or down, and it still works, aesthetically and functionally.

Rattan-inspired bedroom. Photo credit: Kristen Rivoli

She gets inspiration from her travels.

Her travels to museums and historical sites all around the world inspire her modern and traditional designs when it comes designing for clients around the U.S. 

For Rivoli, design is also about location. Uplifting interiors, brimming with patterns and bright room colors, is more common in her work for Miami residences. 

So even if a client had a more traditional quiet home in Boston filled with antiques and paintings, she designed their second home in a more relaxed, informal vibe for their family members. For this project, though, she made sure she incorporated elements of their classical design with fun bright tones that they favored, which allowed her to design with colors and patterns in mind.

Designing for families

Rivoli takes pride in designing not just for the client but the people he or she lives with – family and children. This is not something you hear an interior designer say outright. 

Usually, they’re beholden to the client but for an interior designer like Rivoli to say she designs for a client’s family and other people he or she lives with, tells us one thing: She considers every person living on one roof to be of importance. 

Rivoli has designed for a client with children that featured a fun mural, a peel-and-stick wallpaper and playful posters while making sure they have enough space for families and children to enjoy – while still keeping her casual design elegance in check.

Rivoli’s early beginnings

Rivoli and her company, Kristen Rivoli Interior Design, was founded in 2009. Her first big project was a 8,000-square-foot full gut renovation for a young family. She created floor plans and a complete interior design package, including hard finishes, window treatments, wall finishes and furniture. She has more than 30 years of experience in corporate and commercial design. 

Saying she has a good eye for great architecture and the arts is one thing, but that could be anyone. Rivoli likes to think of herself as a lifelong student in her field, with a strong foundation in researching designers, artists and architects in many different styles.

How does she include the client in her creative process? In a Luxe Interiors feature, she was quoted as saying, “I like to find out from the client what they want from their new home. We are designing where they’re going, not where they’ve been.” 

For someone who likes to merge both traditional and modern designs, it’s an interesting perspective that can be explained in one word: family. Every family and person in a room is always changing and evolving, especially when it comes to moving to a different location. 

It's time you worked with a smart technology integrator who works with interior designers like Rivoli. Contact Premium Digital Control at (954) 637-1361 or email

Rivoli likes to have patterns in her design. Photo credit: Kristen Rivoli

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